Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

by Gwen

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: Book Cover

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
My first YA book! (YA stands for Young Adult, in case you don’t know)

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

The book is heartbreaking and really enlightening. Every seemingly small gesture or action by another person in Hannah’s life led to her suicide. While the ultimate subject, suicide, is depressing, there is a lot to learn from this book. The offhanded jokes, comments and labels that we throw out so thoughtlessly can snowball into a huge mess and we need to realize the power we have in each other’s lives. What is that phrase? “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” We need to stand up when we see wrongs and we need to take the risk & reach out when we see people in pain.
I loved the book because of its message and am really glad that it was geared toward teens. They need to get that message more than any other age group that I can think of.
Strange story on how this book ended up in my hands: I heard about this book months ago because of my other job. I work for an SMS answer service called ChaCha. People, mostly teens, text in their questions and I text back the answers that I find online. Don’t even remember what the question was, but the book stuck out in my mind.
Then I started seeing reviews and mentions on some of the book blogs that I read. Still, I don’t read YA, so I didn’t actively put it on my list.
Last week, I finally paid off my 2 year old, $4 library fine and went in to look around. Thirteen Reasons Why stood out like a beacon on the 7 day checkout shelf. Turns out, the author, Jay Asher, is a local and we both went to Cuesta College and Cal Poly. Dude! It is like we are related!
I read the book and now my goal is to legally stalk the poor guy until I get him to do an interview for Chew & Digest. Jay Asher, if you are reading this….how about coffee at Linnaea’s? I will buy.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Razorbill; 1st edition (October 18, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1595141715
ISBN-13: 978-1595141712

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We are wearing the green, eating corned beef  & cabbage, and dreaming of wee people.

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